Marco prom queen, her king cheered for spontaneous gesture


These days, photobombs are in vogue – but how about a "prombomb" as a variation.

That's what happened Saturday evening at the Lely High School crowning of the prom queen and king, Marco student Ashley Schneller and Tupac Isme, respectively.

Lely High School prom queen Ashley Schneller of Marco and Mitchell Weis acknowledge the cheers after the king, Tupac Isme, placed his crown on Weis' head.

"While Tupac and Ashley were dancing," said Richie Parlier, Lely journalism, English teacher and volunteer photographer for the night, "Mitchell (Weis, a special-needs student) approached the dance floor and when Tupac saw him, he stopped to let him dance with Ashley without hesitation. However, before Ashley and Mitchell started to dance, Tupac took off his crown and placed it on Mitchell's head."

It was a moment that electrified the big crowd of students who had gathered at the Naples Grande for the prom.

"It was all quite moving and exemplary of how everyone here at Lely cares for one another selflessly," Parlier said. "Mitchell was beaming as he led Ashley dancing around the room, and Ashley had an undeniable smile on her face as well. People gathered around the dance floor, clapping and cheering as the exuberant duo finished with their hands toward the sky. It was one of those picturesque moments that I was glad to be witness to."

Weis' teacher Nicole Cholka said her student has Down Syndrome, is 18 years old and transferred to Lely last November from a school in New York.

"Mitch is very outgoing, and most of the other students in the school know him by name," Cholka said. "He joined the track team this past spring, and was loved by all of the coaches and athletes."

Ashley Schneller and Tupac Isme dance before he hands over his crown to Mitchell Weis.

Prom queen Schneller helped inaugurate the school's Helping Hands Club, in which general-education students once a week join other special-needs students in Cholka's class for lunch.

Parlier added that a second gesture on the part of King Isme was handing over his sash to student John Santil – who had been one of the prom king nominees.

Prom coordinator Ryan Roberts said the prom's theme was Carnivale, a mixture between a masquerade ball and Mardi Gras, and that about 280 students attended, along with 15 chaperones and two youth relations deputies. She said most of the senior class attended, along with many juniors as well.